How to View Desktop Site in Mobile Safari

Safari is fast and optimized for mobile devices. That’s usually a good thing. But there are still a few websites that refuse to adapt to mobile Safari or provide an inferior experience on their mobile site. In times like these, you can switch to the desktop version of the website.

How to View Desktop Site in Safari

Like many iOS features, especially ones for Safari, the Request Desktop Site feature is hidden. With iOS 13, Apple has changed the placement of this option, which makes it a bit easier to find. As iPadOS 13 automatically loads desktop websites, iPad users won’t need to look for this feature after updating.

Here’s how this feature works on devices running iOS 12 and iOS 13.

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iOS 12 and Below

Open the Safari app on your iPhone or iPad and load a website. Now, tap and hold on the “Refresh” button next to the URL bar.

Tap and Hold Refresh Button to get the Request Desktop Site popup

You’ll see a popup at the bottom of the screen. From here, select “Request Desktop Site.”

Tap on Request Desktop Site

The website will reload, and you’ll now see the desktop version of the site. To go back to the mobile version, tap and hold on the “Refresh” button again and select “Request Mobile Site.”

iOS 13 and Above

With the iOS 13 update, Apple has improved the Safari browser in a couple of important ways. While most improvements are seen on the iPad version, iPhone users get access to the new Safari Download Manager as well as a new customization menu for websites.

Tap on the “Aa” icon to see a couple of new menu options. From here, select the “Request Desktop Website” button to open the desktop version of the website.

New menu in iOS 13 to request desktop website

Come back to the same menu to switch back to the mobile version.


And that’s it. You now know how to access desktop websites on your iPhone and iPad using mobile Safari.

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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